ARCS has officially rounded out a decade with the close of its 10th Annual Research Conference hosted by the MIT Sustainability Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management. This year’s conference took place June 11-13.

Matthew Amengual presents his paper to ARCS participants.

The conference chair was John Sterman, Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management. Around 106 participants were in attendance, including faculty and PhD students.

ARCS President, Tom Lyon, said “Mindy Lubber, CEO of Ceres, kicked things off with a great talk about driving sustainability in the business sector.  And it was inspiring to see the next generation of young business scholars so interested in sustainability.  We also saw an increase in papers focused on social dimensions of sustainability, and a lot of international participation.  The MIT team did a superb job of organizing, and the lobster dinner at the Sailing Pavilion was a highlight.  Overall, it was a great success.”

This year the Emerging Sustainability Scholar award was presented to both Shon Hiatt, Assistant Professor of Business Administration at USC Marshall School of Business, and Sarah E. Light, Assistant Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Shon explores issues related to entrepreneurship, new-market emergence, and innovation in developed and developing economies. He is particularly known for this work in the agribusiness and energy sectors.

Sarah Light, Wharton       Shon Hiatt, USC

Sarah’s research examines issues at the intersection of environmental law and business innovation. Her articles have addressed the regulatory implications of the rise of transportation platforms like Uber and Lyft; how business innovation, such as Microsoft’s adoption of a private carbon fee, can be a form of private environmental governance; and the U.S. military’s role in stimulating private technological innovation to reduce fossil fuel use.

The conference hosts chose several scholars to receive Best and Outstanding Paper Awards, and attendees voted for the People’s Choice Award. Their papers can be found on our awards page.

Vanessa Burbano, Columbia University, Best Paper
Laura Boudreau, UC Berkeley, Outstanding Paper
Haram Seo, Jiao Luo, Aseem Kaul; University of Minnesota, Outstanding Paper
Greg Distelhorst, MIT, and Anita McGahan, University of Toronto; People’s Choice

Vanessa Burbano


The 11th Annual Research Conference will be held at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School on June 5-7, 2019.

ARCS would like to extend its gratitude and thanks to all those who attended this year, and whose commitment over the years have made ARCS the success it is today.

ARCS & MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative Teams (left to right) Thomas Lyon, Brooke Sweeney,  John Sterman, Dominic Farello, Bethany Patten, Jason Jay.